Air's Corner

Sunday, February 19, 2006

i spy.

I spy...

I spy a lot of things each day in my life, but who cares about all that?

What does pertain to you reading this is what I spy that has to do with RELIGION.

So I'll tell you.

Lately, I have been noticing religion peeking up in my daily life, my daily activities, and when I say this I mean, my daily surroundings. It is so unbelievable how often the subject or subject matter comes up. It is such a major part of life. Duh, right? Well I always knew this... of course... but really, it is such a major part of the majority of people's lives, in some way or another. It is a major part in my life, I am sure, without even knowing it.

But now I am beginning to realize it.

The other day I was sitting in on the monthly medical ethics committee meeting at Montgomery Hospital that I attend, and I took down some interesting notes I'd like to journal. One of the committee members, a doctor of which I do not remember who, made the remark "We will have to become religious in the way we document". They were referring to death records, and there new policies with hospice care, and drug use. Hmmm interesting use of the word.

The head doctor on this committee then started to tell a story. A story of death, and what the family of the man who was dying experience was. The story was of a family of creole background. They were huddling around an older man who was admitted into the hospital earlier that day, and who was not going to make it. The family was bent over talking to him. One of the doctors made out "it is okay to pass on". That was the only thing that was heard. Although so much had gone unheard, it was easy to see what was being said. The witnesses saw physiological changes take place in the dying man. As the family was all bent around the old man praying, he began to deep breather, become calm, and welcome the next world. After he passed, the medical staff found out the family was catholic, and that they all agreed that it was good, the way he passed.

Another note, it was said at this meeting that teamwork involves: doctors, nurses,and chaplaincy.

The other night I saw on TV an advertisement to fly out to northern Arkansas, to stay free for a couple of days to check out a new community that is "peaceful, pristine, and close to nature". Reminded me of the Ozarks, the way it was advertised and the location.

This weekend I woke up early Saturday and decided to have a bowl of cereal in bed, and watch cartoons. As I was flipping through the channels, the evangelist channel caught me dead in my tracks. There was this wierd puppet show that was called "Little Angels", I think. It was all about the scripture and God's message, and how we should live, geared to a young audience. It was so third rate (the quality and stuff) that it seriously freaked me out. After that show, another kids show came on, "Colby's Clubhouse", I believe. This was of girls and boys dancing, singing, and telling stories of Christ.

So in conclusion, I have really been noticing lately religion's omnipresence. It is totally blowing my mind. How about yours?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Soon One Mornin'

I have been feeling a bit challenged lately in this course. Not with the readings, or the workload, but solely with my feelings. Before this semester, I had a pretty good idea as to where I stood in the religious/spiritual realm. I believed in "God", an extreme energy/force which connects all of us here on Earth. I believed in reincarnation until the point of ultimate truth and good was accomplished here on Earth, at which point you ascended unto another dimension, or heaven.

As you can see my thoughts and beliefs were not "traditional". I would say they are collective from my experience so far... a little buddhist, a little catholic, some jewish, a bit agnostic, but all very spiritual...

I remember actually reading the book BE right before coming to school. This book is so real, such a masterpiece. In short, everyone should read it, its by AC Ping.

It talks about happiness, and how each of us should find ourselves, meditate, escape from the box that society has for each one of us. It is truly a remarkable book. However, how this ties in is that, I read a certain part of that book, that talked about a certain belief of a certain religion. At that point I felt as though I had a "spiritual awakening". Come to think of it, I dont remember what that enlightenment was. Wow. I think, it is partly because I am so twisted now with my beliefs that I forgot.

At the start of the semester, I felt like a had a grasp on what was life and what was death, the sheer purpose of the two of these most extreme concepts. Afterall, isnt this what religion is really designed for? Purpose of life, and to take away from the fear of death? Today I stand a nonbeliever. Why? Because this is what my science explains. It explains a world that has been around for billions of years. It has evidence, fact, which reveals that the "modern human" has been around for 30-100,000 years. Before this modern human were other homonoid animals, animals that had the capacity to evolve into us. The theory of natural selection makes sense. It is logical, but more importantly it gives us answers. This theory can explan virtually everything about the world around us. Some would say the knowledge of such a complex world would prove the power of the almighty. It is so intricate because it was designed. My neuroscience book tells me differently (indirectly ofcourse).

Our brain has simply evolved to do all the wonderous things that it is capable of doing, to the point where we develop a sense of identity, and thus thought. Because of this revelation that occured many years ago, is why (I now am starting to believe) we created religion. It is another aspect of human culture that seperates us from other animals. But just like thought, and superior intelligence, religion has evolved just like our minds did.

So as I was thinking this the other night, I kind of thought, yeah Science explains a lot, maybe even everything (or atleast one day it will), but how do we know, I mean really know that this is truth. Science than seems just like another religion, a set of beliefs that you hold. Instead of Noah, it was Darwin. Instead of the ark, The Beagle.

So in closing, I would like to say that I am at this point of my life unsure. And I have a question for you... what does this mean for someone when they want to study religion? Is this why I am having troubling/challenging thoughts? This whole concept of religion is totally complex. Yes I can approach it from the scientific point of view, but why should I? I have been thinking a lot lately about what religion is, what classifies a system of beliefs or practices as religious. Surely science must be a form of religion, just as much as other non traditional areas: civil religion, Thanksgiving, etc. etc. I am much liking the readings, for I feel as though they are opening our minds to the idea that religion is not just that concrete idea, involving God, religion is another facet of our brain that enables us to act in a certain way to certain beliefs. I am in awe that religion is all around us, whether we are conscious of it or not, it surrounds us, simply because it is an integral part of human life. It might not be the church sort, but other actions and words point to religion or religiosity. This might be a trait that humans have evolved, but each one of us has this capacity, and use it in some form or another in all of our lives. The readngs have proven to be very beneficial in teaching us this fundamental into religious study.